works for me wed

wfmw – get off junk mail lists for good

The only thing I dislike more than spam is junk mail. My home mailbox is always loaded with sales flyers, job offers and keys to cars I’ll never wins. Once, I almost threw away my water bill because it had worked its way in between the pages of a thick sales flyer and on a whim, I checked the flyer out and discovered my bill. It used to cost you to your name to the Direct Marketing Association’s “Do Not Mail” list. Sad that you’d have to pay to avoid receiving mail you didn’t want, huh? But not anymore—the DMA recently made the paper-saving solution absolutely FREE. Registering for their Mail Preference Service takes only a few minutes, and they promise that within two months, your home mailbox will contain 80 percent less junk mail. (With 400 million tons of unwanted mail being produced each year, you’ll be saving more than a buck — maybe you’ll help save a few trees in the process!) ~ cited from Readymademag

This really works for me for three reasons – 1.) it’s free; 2.) it’s easy; and 3.) it’s green. Click on the image above to find more WFMW tips!


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wfmw – thou shalt love thy commenters

Do you blog on the Blogger platform? Did you know that your commenters don’t get “credit” from Technorati or any of the other major ranking sites because Blogger has a “do not follow” policy they build right into their templates? What that basically means is that your commenters don’t get credit for linking their name to your blog. For shame!

There is a movement going on in the blogging community you may not be aware of. It’s called the “U comment, I Follow”. Randa Clay sums it up best:

Almost all blog platforms by default are set up so that a “dead end” piece of code is inserted wherever there is a link in a comment, so that search engines will not “count” the link as they are crawling the internet. This was originally designed to help stop comment spam, but it doesn’t work. What it does is remove some of the incentive for your readers contribute to your site by commenting on your posts.

What can you do about it? Turn off “nofollow”. Show your commenters that you appreciate them. Spread the link love.

Randa also has a variety of buttons you can save and use on your site to show you are comment friendly. In addition, I’ve found a website that explains in very SIMPLE and concrete terms how to remove the “no follow” from your blog template. I was able to do it with no problems whatsoever. One very important side note – BACK UP YOUR BLOG TEMPLATE before doing anything. That way, if for some crazy reason, it goes wonky, you still have your original code saved on your computer.

And feel free to leave a comment, ’cause you’ll definitely get credit for it with me! Be sure to head on over and see Shannon @ Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!


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WFMW – Christian Movie Reviews

I have always been fairly selective about what movies my kids are allowed to watch, whether it be in our home or at a friend’s. If there was ever a question about a movie, the answer would always be “no” until my husband and I had rented it and watched it, which in turn, left our kids understandingly frustrated.

But no more. We discovered that Focus on the Family has a website called “Plugged In Online” that does movies, dvds, television and music reviews from a Christian standpoint. They are honest assessments highlighting positive elements, spiritual content, sexual content, violent content, crude or profane language, drug or alcohol content, and other negative elements. Each review is concluded with the reviewers final thoughts kind of summarizing what has been said and giving you points to ponder before making your decision. Here’s an excerpt from the review for the new Veggie Tales movie, The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything:

So, setting aside any expectation of a between-the-eyes Sunday school lesson, what kind of kids’ movie is Pirates? Maybe I should answer that question with a recitation of places it doesn’t go that so many other animated flicks do:

It refuses to reference the “f-word” as a joke line the way Open Season does. It sticks to clean veggie humor, not crass “nut” humor like Over the Hedge. It stays far, far away from the New Agey worldviews expressed in Brother Bear. It doesn’t feature Regis Philbin and Larry King as the voices of drag-queen “sisters” like the Shrek movies do. It avoids what we called Happy Feet’s “oddly unpleasant interjections of spiritualism and Footloose-style loosen-up-you-old-fuddy-duddy ‘moralizing.'” And it doesn’t indulge in mean-spirited name-calling (“booger breath,” “moron,” “idiot,” etc.) the way pretty much every movie from Meet the Robinsons to Garfield does.

This has been a tremendously helpful tool for our family, as we’ve even been able to use our phone look up a movie while standing in line at the movie theatre when our first choice was sold out! If you haven’t checked it out, I encourage you to do so. We even discovered that some of the movies we were most afraid of were pretty mild compared to what we had envisioned (i.e. – Evan Almighty — which we would never have watched had it not been for Unplugged Online). So go forth and watch movies with confidence! (and check out Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips)


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WFMW – (Backwards Edition)

Today is the backwards edition of WFMW and have I got a question for you moms (or dads) out there!

My son is 5 and has a major fetish fixation affection for his socks. He never has any to wear in his drawer because they are always hidden out somewhere in our house (just in case he needs them). I don’t know if he thinks Wal-Mart is going to suddenly stop carrying Hanes boy’s knee socks in his size or if possibly Armegeddon is coming, but he is evidently stockpiling them for a reason.

Case in point: tonight, I pulled 12 socks out from under his tangled up covers before changing his sheets. TWELVE! And one pair was even his daddy’s. (Apparently he had run out of his own, since his sock drawer was empty and “borrowed” a pair from good old Dad.
I find them stuffed in the cushions of the couch, under tables, in otherwise empty backpacks, in our van…pretty much everywhere but in the dirty clothes hamper.

So help me out here. What should I do to get him to stop hoarding his socks and get them into the hamper?

Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer or more WFMW Backwards Edition questions and tips.

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Stress Free Wrapping

As Christmas morning nears, (my kids count down daily – I am informed practically on the hour) cookies, candies, bars, and the like are being baked; the house is getting a good cleaning; and the presents are all wrapped under the tree presents are all hidden throughout various parts of our house, awaiting the frenzy of discovery on Christmas morning.

We don’t wrap our Christmas morning presents, no-sir-ree. Years ago, I made giant stockings (about 3-1/2 feet tall)for everyone in our family. We have a lovely tradition that on Christmas eve, we each get to open our one or two wrapped presents, and the rest go unwrapped into or under our stockings for Christmas morning. The kids love not having to unwrap 10 gazillion things and mom loves: 1) not having to wrap said presents; and 2) not having to stuff three Hefty garbage sacks full of wrapping paper. It truly makes for a Merry Christmas for all involved.

So that is what works for our family…what works for yours? See more WFMW tips at Rocks in my Dryer.

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WFMW – Have Your Blog Graded for Free!

If you are anything like me, you check your blog stats once or twenty times a day…it’s a sickness, I know. Even if you don’t, this tip is probably something you could use, because if you blog, you do want people to be able to find you, right? (Maybe I’m a mutant, I don’t know…)

I recently discovered a website grader (don’t worry – it works on blogs too) where you simply enter in your blog URL and after a minute of calculating, it will spit out your score, along with a detailed explanation of why you scored the way you did.

I had a score of a measly “3” when I first ran the test, and now I have a whopping “65”, which simply means that my blog scores higher than 65% of other websites in terms of “marketing effectiveness. Just for fun, I ran a comparison (you can do that too) with Rocks In My Dryer to see…well, how I compared. Not pretty, y’all. But I don’t have nearly as many links or visits, either. (click on example below to enlarge)

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All in all, it was a fun project, and I highly recommend you visit the Website SEO Score Tool at Website Grader…it works for me. For more WFMW tips, head on over to Shannon’s @ Rocks in My Dryer — you’ll be glad you did.

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